because you’re a writer

The silence wears you down. In amongst the ticker tape news feed scroll of social media announcing book deals and rights deals and translation deals from the London Book Fair, the lack of any news of your own erodes whatever hopes you had pinned to its tail. Turns out that idea you had that you were different from your peers because you wanted it badly enough was mere foolishness. Turns out you were lucky the first time around. Turns out all those jaded writers who came to speak to your creative writing class and told you not to write for the money, weren’t just has-beens. Turns out, you might be one of them.

Finishing a book is the beginning of letting go. Not just of the characters you’ve lived with for years and the landscapes of imagination you created for them, but of the dreams you placed your trust in. You hope this book will change your life, but the changes it brings will most likely end when you add the final full stop. The process of writing changes you, the book probably won’t. It will go on, if it gets published, to alter the lives of a few readers in some small way, perhaps it will inspire one someone to do something wonderful, but your life will likely be less for the transition from writer to published author, not more. With your part in the story over, you will have to wait the grief and disappointment out. Until a new story comes your way.

Then, in spite of the scars the last book left on you, you will begin again. You will begin again with all the optimism and enthusiasm you began the last book with. Slowly, as you unravel the narrative, you will start to dream, thinking if you just make it shiny enough, this time will be different. Because you’re a writer. You have no choice. What else are you going to do?

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